WASC Approval

Degree Programs

An institution must seek prior approval before implementing any degree programs at a degree level for which it does not have General or Specified (in a particular field or discipline) degree-granting approval.

Changing the Curriculum or Requirements of a Program

WSCUC may require substantive change approval when proposed alterations would result in a significantly different program. This is typically triggered by changes of 25 percent or more in the curriculum.

Non-Degree programs

As of July 1, 2016, institutions are required to report and/or submit for review all new non-degree programs. For this purpose, a non-degree program consists of the following:

  • Is a series of courses
  • Carries academic credit from the offering institution
  • Results in a credential of some kind (certificate, diploma, credential, etc.)
  • Results in a credential that is independent and not awarded as a result of completing an approved degree program.

The distinction between new non-degree programs that require review and those that only need to be reported upon implementation is whether or not the program is a significant departure for the institution.

Significant departure

Examples of significant departures include: an offering in a curricular area in which the institution has no current approved programs (such as a new accounting certificate offered by an institution with no Business programs) or offering an online program at an institution with no or very few approved online programs or vice versa.

A program that is not a significant departure from an institution’s current approved curricular offerings or approved modality must be reported when implemented but does not require a review.

Contact the Academic Programs office for help with determining if your revision or proposal requires WASC approval.

For substansive changes, please review the WASC Substansive Change Manual

Templates for WASC approval can be found here.